The following project investigates the influence of technology on our lives, specifically the alienating effect of communication technology on human individuals. Communication technology has an unbelievable influence on the lives of people, especially the younger generations (Naisbitt 2001). The hypothesis of this project was that the increased use and reliance on gadgets such as smartphones (Katz 2003) affects a decrease in face-to-face social interaction and empathy, creating a world of virtual interactions and loneliness instead (Turtle 2015). The discovery of social photographer Eric Pickersgill inspired the design development further. His sociological work focuses on taking photographs of people completely absorbed by their phones in the eerie atmosphere this creates. This effect was further reinforced by digitally removing the phones out of the subjects' hands to draw attention to the absurdity of these situations (Pickersgill 2016)-
What stood out the most was the interesting negative space that was created between the distracted bodies. Tracing this shape and then applying it to sketches of the female figure in different ways created interesting silhouette ideas. I then further visualised the absence of a real object (such as a relationship) by using shadow drapes to create further design ideas.
The collection features eye-catching stitched details, even in its illustrations. Main focus was to use the traces silhouettes to create an alluring and intricate look that is both inspired and points to the source of information.
A ROOM OF ONE'S OWN
The aim of this project was to create a visual narrative of a personal place of sanctuary. In my case, this was Washington Square Park. I love running there to clear my head and found the history and architecture of the park to be incredibly rich and fascinating.
As this project was conducted in winter, I chose to use the graphic quality of my footprints in the snow for further design inspiration. This symbolised my mental reorganisation that I undergo every time that I visit the park, in terms of where I want to go in the future and the path that will take me there. One of my favourite parts of this project was the creation of creative technical flats (see below) that clearly visualised the aesthetic that I was going for. Using gradients that occurred naturally in the snow gave my project a new dimension.
The next step in the design process was to translate the most successful 2D shapes into real-life 3D manipulations on the stand. This allowed me to figure out how they could be made into functioning garments.
The culmination of this project was the production of a bolero jacket, inspired by the Arch in Washington Square Park. The fabric is a special kind of plastified cotton weave, reminiscent of the texture of wet snow.
The White Project is applicable to all first year students at Central Saint Martins and culminates in the White Show at the end of the first semester. The brief was to choose one out of three sub themes and to implement our ideas using only white felt and cotton twill for our garments. I chose to focus on 'Traditional Borderlines' as a sub theme and was immediately drawn to the topic of death as the borderline between life and after-life. The researched imagery proved to be very rich in silhouette and textural inspiration as I paid special attention to the history of bone houses and cemeteries.
My intention was to create a sartorial memento more reminding the viewer of our human mortality and the exilement of the dead from our society. The topic of death has been perverse and turned into something disgusting and unspeakable. Interactions with the dead used to be meaningful and respectful. Bone used to be a place of communication and bore the bones of both monks and commoners, which could allegedly be distinguished by different shades of white. How is it possible that death as such an axiomatic companion of life has been banned out of mind, out of sight?
Creating this garment required numerous drapings on mannequins and drafting patterns for each element. As mentioned, the fabrics were limited to white felt and cotton twill. These two materials enabled the achievement of both stiffer and flowier elements of the garment. Layering the two over each other made it possible to use both the felt's molding quality as well as maintaining the more expensive look of the fine cotton on the outside.
Mimicking the textures of bone houses into surface decoration was achieved by stitching around pieces of wadding, which were sandwiched between felt and cotton in the shapes of bone structures. In intricate work, I then stitched thin pieces of felt on top of the padded elements.
I am honored that my White Project garment was featured in i-D magazine, representing Central Saint Martin's White Show:
For this project, I was very excited to be working with neoprene for the first time, which has been my desire for a while as it reflects my preferred structural aesthetic perfectly, is light-weight and easy-care. I researched both the study of butterflies (lepideptorology) and the technique of laser-cutting fabric. On the right-hand side is the pattern that I created in Adobe Illustrator.
I executed the modern technology of laser-cutting in the bodice part of the dress to create a cut-out, which was very exciting. The black-and-white contrast was inspired by the vintage images that I used for my mood board. Finishings were made using a double-stitch machine (a new technique that we learned on the BFA course). Photoshoot location was Bed-Stuy, Brooklyn. The atmosphere was meant to convey an “urban butterfly” feeling, a fragile creature lost in the big city jungle.